Passengers at Golden Triangle Regional Airport go through Transportation Security Administration screening before Thursday's 1:45 p.m. flight to Atlanta. The daily 1:45 flight began Sunday, giving GTRA four flights to and from Atlanta. Photo by: Chris Jenkins/Special to The Dispatch
Adam Hockstetler, who business travels from his home in Billings, Montana, to Columbus several times a year, said the addition of the 1:45 p.m. flight to Atlanta from Golden Triangle Regional Airport saves him both time and money. "It means I can get home before midnight," he said.
Photo by: Chris Jenkins/Special to The Dispatch
June 14, 2019 11:17:23 AM
When Delta Airlines announced in February it was adding another round-trip flight to Golden Triangle Regional Airport in Lowndes County, it was more than just a fourth daily flight.
It was also Daylight Saving Time, providing passengers another chance to get where they are going before dark.
Sunday, Delta began its new flight, with an arrival from Atlanta at 1:15 p.m., followed by a 1:45 departure from GTRA to arrive in Atlanta at 4:05 (EDT).
Other flights to Atlanta depart GTRA at 6:30 a.m., 10:15 a.m. and 5 p.m.
"It's been sort of a mixed bag so far," said GTRA Executive Director Mike Hainsey. "Some of the flights have been over-sold and some are not very crowded. Overall, though, we're happy with the performance."
The new flight was a big hit with Thursday travelers on the flight.
"This flight allows me to get home before midnight, which is great," said Adam Hockstetler of Billings, Montana, who travels to Columbus several times a year for his software company, DealerSocket. "Also, it prevents me from having to drive to Atlanta. The last time I was here in February, I flew into Atlanta and drove the four hours or so. That means I have less time with my clients or I'm not efficient with my time. It generally adds expense, because I have to get a hotel room for another night. ... (But) I spend a lot of time traveling, so this is a big deal."
Stephen Saine, an engineer from South Carolina, agreed.
"It's really convenient to be able to get a flight you can catch in the afternoon," Saine said. "A lot of times, you wind up wasting a lot of time just waiting for a flight, especially when you're flying out of smaller airports."
Hainsey said the benefits of the extra flight extend to passengers who aren't even on it.
"I think it's going to reduce the over-booking we have," Hainsey said. "I also think some of the other flights will be less crowded. It's another option for our customers. This new flight means you don't have to take an early flight to get where you are going at a decent time."
Slim Smith is a columnist and feature writer for The Dispatch. His email address is [email protected]
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